We are living in strange and challenging times.
COVID-19 is a global pandemic. Governments around the world are enforcing a range of measures, from social distancing to strict lockdowns, to stop the outbreak from getting worse and many businesses are struggling because of it.
If you’re among the lucky businesses that don’t have a storefront and you can do business virtually, your ability to run your business with everyone working remotely will be crucial in coming out of this in a (relatively) healthy position.
We’ve been doing this at Web Profits for the last couple of years. It started with our blockchain marketing arm, where the entire industry is decentralized, and then it expanded out to the rest of the company.
It started partly because we have offices in different countries (Australia, USA, Singapore, Romania), but mainly because we have many long-time team members that wanted to stay with the company, but needed a change in their lifestyle (e.g., traveling around Australia with 4G, moving to New Zealand with their family, frequent travels for family, etc.)
In addition, the talent pool available is far greater when you can include remote talent.
With that in mind, here are some of the things we have done to support a remote working environment:
1. Use Zoom for video conferencing.
Nothing is better than Zoom for video conferencing. Full stop.
Without Zoom, we wouldn’t have the same level of engagement across meetings, because the platform allows it to feel like you’re there in real-time. Sure, you can still use Google Hangouts, Skype or other conferencing solutions (we’ve tried them all), but nothing is better than Zoom.
Difficulty to set up: Easy.
2. Use Slack for internal communications.
We use Slack for pretty much all of our internal communications. It reduces email significantly (we found that most of the emails our team received were from each other), and significantly increases collaboration between team members.
We also use Slack for communicating with clients if they’ve investing in our Fluid Marketing service and our team needs to communicate with them throughout the day. If you haven’t tried Slack yet, then use this as an opportunity to try it out. You won’t be disappointed.
Difficulty to set up: Easy.
3. Use Asana for project management.
Asana is one of the best project management tools around. We use it to manage projects, client campaigns and workloads—and we use it for meeting agendas, meeting notes and action items.
Difficulty to set up: Medium.
4. Use Google G-Suite.
We use Google for our emails, docs (the Google version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), drives and calendars. Plus, with Google being in the cloud, it means we can access everything from any device, at any location, and it’s synced everywhere.
The best part about G-Suite (aside from accessing your emails anywhere, anytime) is that we share calendars, collaborate on documents, and share files seamlessly.
Difficulty to set up: Hard.
That’s pretty much everything you need to run a completely remote workforce and still get everything done at the highest levels of performance.
Aside from that, it’s important to make sure that everyone has a good work-from-home setup including fast internet, a second screen and a good work space. You’ll also need to rethink how you get your team to work remotely together, effectively.
We are living in strange times, so by using a few new tools and changing the approach to our daily processes, you can make a new, productive “normal” workflow for as long as it takes for this crisis to run its course.
Alex Cleanthous is an entrepreneur, writer, technologist, and co-founder at Web Profits.
Get more strategies and insights on how to manage through the current crisis, and connect with you peers about these issues by joining Ragan’s Crisis Leadership Board.